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tv   After Words  CSPAN  December 25, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EST

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>> host: you see this in elizabeth warren? >> guest: somebody like donald trump is -- you never know what's going to come out of his
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mouth. [laughter] >> guest: absolutely. how interesting can that be? the truth is that the left is moving to the left than the right is moving to the right. the right is not moving to the center but a flexible space, i think. it's better than 50% likely that you're going to see a candidate who -- who basically frames himself as the candidate of aspiration, not anger. >> host: well, you've got high praise from the book from people, paul ryan, who states the conservative heart makes the stage why it should be on the center of fighting poverty efforts. one of the take aways from the book is it does give a prescription as to how to fight
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for something and how to be about that fight in a way that brings people into it, and i think after listening to you and -- and replaying in my head some of the sections in the book that really stood out, i understand why this is an important book and, i think, a lot of people, particularly conservatives will begin to appreciate the struggle isn't over and the fight isn't done and we have to put ourselves fully in the game. >> guest: to enjoy it. happy warrior. absolutely. >> host: it's been a real joy and pleasure to sit down with you and be with you again and to share with everyone this boom, the conservative heart. >> guest: thank you, michael, you've been an inspiration to me.
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>> host: you got it. pleasure. >> book tv is on facebook, behind the scenes, videos and to talk directly with authors in live program. facebook.com/booktv. cornel west, civil rights leader >> this is a real delight to have you here on this show. i am grateful myself for being invited to have an occasion to interview about this new edited volume on dr. king. the radical king, martin luther
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king, jr., edited and introduced by cornel west. this is a real treasure rf some of the most important speeches and letters and public documents of dr. king. what inspired you to do this project? >> guest: i just want to begin by saluting you. great institutions in the american empire and you do it with such e leggance and such vision and sense activity and your scholarship actually for me is in terms of discourse on incarceration among poor people. it's crucial to be able to spend time with you, my brother, beautiful thing. he was able to generate levels of love and vision and unbelieve
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high-quality services to the least of these. he's a christian minister, first and foremost. you and i know that brother martin gets sanitized every -- [laughter] >> guest: fbi is saying he's the most dangerous man in america and others put forward with such power, he's un-american, he's a trader to the country and so forth. what does martin do, he says, you never knew me, you never knew me. i'm called to babies in vietnam, babies in apalachia, south side of chicago, babies in ethiopia.
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that's martin king. so many of the freedom and we can go on and on. >> host: talk with the classification of african americans. part of you're describing is amnesia that dr. king wasn't always well loved within the black community. 55% of african americans did not support dr. king on vietnam and ending poverty. it was the ending poverty part that caught me off guard. >> guest: it's true. it's very sad. 72% and 55 is in black people. you remember what whitney young said, setting back the black
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freedom movement, what you say may get you money in the corporation but may not get you in the kingdom of truth. black leadership over where to go. see martin was saying, corporation is not going to dictate what my correspondence actually is. >> host: i know the difference between right and wrong. >> guest: big money and all the access, power is not going to determine what i say. see, martin was like -- like joe and could have been multi, multimillionary. he brings young brothers. what is he doing, being himself. we have a lot of people, for example, that say they love martin luther king, jr. and they
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talk about speaking truth to power but they don't want to speak truth to the present power . don't lie to yourself in acting as if you so progressive when you really just cheerleader and a bootlegger. you have to be candid to these things. >> host: we will get to that for sure but i want to ask about the book. >> guest: sure, absolutely. >> host: in terms of the text itself, was the radical king hidden in plain sight in terms of the actual wisdom or did you have to pull up or pull out obscured passages and text from more well-known speeches that he
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gave? >> guest: when my dear sister careta king, when i first met her in 1986i gave a speech in in the capitol. >> host: before the king holiday. ten years into the annual fight. >> guest: that's exactly right. on my first date, martin said, i bet you never met a black -- [laughter] >> new school conservative music. he said, yes, because his hero was not just martha shivers who taught sociology, the great
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sociologist in indiana university. but also norman thomas. the essay in the book. who was norman thomas? class 1905, turned down a big church on east side of new york in order to pass harlem, lost christian faith and became a socialist and ran for socialist, socialist party for many times. but, of course, look at marshall washington. vanilla brother in the history of john brown, miles, you can go on and on. brothers and sisters committed to the freedom of everybody including black people and martin says, norman thomas is fundamental part of who i am. he's not as much as benjamin may
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was, benjamin is legendary but he's a part of who i am. >> host: i found it fascinating, so in 1952, so dr. king and caretta are dating and not yet married and you cite a passage at the top of the book but my sources gave me a little bit more detail. [laughter] >> host: the passage here indicates an exchange of ideas and romance between dr. king and coretta at the time. what's interesting about norman thomas and socialism, they talk about having both read edward, 1887, eutopian fantasy, looking backwards. in this letter he writes to caretta. i'm not a conventional baptist minister. i believe in the social gospel. it's not enough to save goals.
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my father was thorough capitalist but i don't want to own a lot and ignoring people's need is wrong. it takes the necessity of the masses to give luxuries to the classes. i found it fascinating because that's 1952. >> guest: our brother laying it out right already. he has this legacy inside of him. but you know what i love about martin, though, in some of the ways sets him among from most black people and black leaders, malcolm is a part but his radical love and it's a radical love and freedom and radical love which means from the very beginning he was letting claretta know i am a different
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kind of negro. he's already elected city council. but at the same time when it comes to mainstream black, education or when it comes to mainstream leadership, they explicit but not the best way to win population. she's right there with him too. she's going to be pushing him on passivism and pushing him on critics of empire. >> host: it goes to the argument that you make and what you see to make an intervention. shall we say a radical intervention. annually in the run up to the king holiday, we get a lot of the river side speech. we get a lot of antiwar speech that dr. king made but it is -- it denies the truth of his own
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story which is not that he began dressed in the forces of history that took him into montgomery, he fell on the other end and is giving him could believe on how to fight the good fight and it was just about civil rights and a seat at the table and to be able to be first-class citizens. in fact, he came with a kind of economic blueprint built in. by the time you get to the vietnam war, but the time he seen the limits of legislative action in civil rights movement he's already been committed to fundamental revolutionary change. the kind of change that as you and so many others pointed out shifts this country from a thing to society. >> guest: you're absolutely right. i think when we talk to our dear brother he's one of the great
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freedom fighters still alifes who meets martin very young. there's a part where you see the wonderful picture in the basement. harlem at the center but bringing the legacy of the boys and martin king bringing legacy of benjamin on one hand but also intellectually hero negro. it's a family affair. [laughter] >> guest: there's no martin without his family. the family helps make him and that's very important. i think specially for young people, and specially of the ferguson generation who i love so deeply, i think, courageous and visionary.
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>> host: yeah. >> guest: but also brother tory and william barbara which was younger generation. a great king-like figure. deep aspiration for martin king, that part of a tradition. they recognized just like you and i we are who we are because somebody loved us and they cared for us and the question is how much loving and care we will do on the time we are here to mother's wonb. but was a very subtle analysis that puts poor people and working people at the center, so
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it's not delmatic, any weapon he can use, might be from liberalism in terms of critic of centralized power in the public sector and conservatism in the crucial war of family, but family is still very important. church. >> host: right. one of the things you emphasize is you call him a revolutionary christian. it's obviously that he's a minister to all of us, but in some ways civil rights act i have -- activism can get lost. talk a little bit about that. >> guest: the brother would never sell out.
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you're only willing to sell your soul when you reach that the grounds of hope can no longer be sustained at spiritual level and life is about goodies available in time in space and i'm going to get as much as i can, so the king of god has become a brand. no. the black freedom struggle has become a commercial. no. the love community has become advertisement. we live in a highly advertised culture. it doesn't have to rule me. martin comes along and says, lo and behold i'm a jazz man, i'm a blues man, i'm using any weapon i can to empower these poor and working people beginning on the chocolate side of town and it's very important because a lot of people loved martin king because he loved white brothers and
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sisters. that's a beautiful thing. that showed spiritual ma surety but she didn't go to jail because he loved white brothers, he went to jail because he loved black folks. when he gets out he could hardly walk and says this is a cros, we must bare for the freedom of people, that's spiritual. >> host: right. >> guest: you know this brother ain't going to sell out. >> host: a deep connection that the life that jesus actually led. we can see at least of these but he actually meant it. diagnosis of the world was that these people, my people are truly the least -- not just here in america but globally.
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>> guest: alah loving free, tony was a free woman and literary genius, there's a connection between having your spiritual roots rich and deep and being free, being in the world but not of the world. >> host: right. >> guest: for martin it had everything to do with that. just like myself. [laughter] >> host: let's come back to the connection between christianity and the blues tradition because that may not be obvious to every raider or every listener. what do you mean a christian blues man? i think you mean something more than just improvization. you name four catastrophes.
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>> guest: i think you have to begin with chronical individual catastrophe lyricically expressed. nobody loves me than my momma. [laughter] >> host: that's catastrophe. >> guest: every force in the world against you the one person you can depend on. now, how does bd king sing that song. [laughter] >> guest: how does he sing that song with style, smile, help with lucille, get -- guitar. we are a blues people. we thought the world something
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about love on something that we have been hated. you taught the world about justice even though we have been treated unjustly and unfairly up to this very moment. it's a tradition of the people who looks catastrophe in the face and critically exams it and candidly speaks about it and crajously lives and is willing to die. [laughter] >> guest: they feel, people get ready. in the face of american terrorism n the face of being hated by so many people, he responds bike bb king but with a smile, with style, landmarks in the past that constitute when at his back to engage, truth telling, witness baring and for
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the working people, even though he's not against rich folks, but it's difficult for rich folks not to fall what we have in the -- how did the -- the johnson brothers put it? falling in love with the intoxicating. you know, the line -- >> host: i don't remember. >> guest: you know the line i'm talking about. intoxicated with the world, power, wealth and so forth. >> host: row used the term radical love. that's definition of broader definition of crustian blues man. you say that the radical love that king taught and he lived his life by was a radical love that daily made the self-die. >> host: that's right.
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>> guest: eagle had to be killed t attachment to the world that makes us feel good, in order for a sack if i -- sacrificial selfo emerge, was it the sheer capacity to be courageous in the mist of chaos? >> guest: that's a profound question because it's hard to know exactly how anybody is able to mustard the level of courage that a martin king or dorothy does. he was someone who really did die every day. and there's no reverse without death, so he's reborn every day.
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taking a show internaler is lik. holy saturday god is dead but evidence from the blood of the cross that east is on the way. most christians in america they don't want to killed jesus killed as a criminal. so many got to be in cuba. all the baring witness and the part -- empire comes down on them. martin understood that not just more christian or any human being who wants to deal with a level of integrity as a long-distance brother, position and status and wealth. we have to kill some in yourself
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to sense that it was all about you rather than you being a product of a larger tradition, we love and care for you, giving you a sense of self-confidence and self-respect and our young people, specially the ferguson generation, they are so hungry and thirsty for this process, learning how to die, killing that fear, standing in the face of the police, police look like we are in baghdad rather than in ferguson. they stand there with courage, and, of course, the middle question is always is how do we channel that legitimate righteous indignation. i'm part of that. >> host: 20 years ago writing amongst young people. >> guest: that's exactly right. >> host: do you find that this journey helps you to better understand young people from 20
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years ago where you were writing race matters to today? >> guest: i think so. 13 edited books. this is more core of who i am. my blood brother cliff west who was the most king-like person that i know. and that's true for so many of us. there are so many folks on the ground that are king-like, part of the problem is when you look up on television, no not to many king-like folks, not to many christ-like. if you look at the ground, activists and learn how to die and live. christians must die daily. >> host: yes. >> guest: kill that oag, -- ego,
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kill that envy, enough to be liberated to keep the beloved community in view. the kingdom in view and that believed community is fundamentally about ensuring that everybody live with dignity. that's, for example, martin king will be the overwhelmed by 500 babies killed in 50 days and not one mumbling word to say by american politicians. the white house, congress, governors or whatever and martin will say, what, i don't care about the politician ifs they cowardly, these precious babies are just as precious in new york, connecticut, los angeles or whatever, and he keeps that
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moral and spiritual center. that's the key. that's really the key. >> host: i want to talk about martin since history. i found that certainly as a historian i was taken by some of the entry that of history and dr. king himself not only as a product of that historical consciousness and that deep commitment to learning, after all he did have a doctorate. >> guest: ph.d. [laughter] >> guest: absolutely right. >> host: he saw the stakes of historical literacy, the need to know and to understand and to be able to use history in order to criticize the present and imagine the future is absolutely essential not just optional. i'm going to share you -- remind you what you already know but share with our listeners, the
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great historian, civil rights activists, eventual communist, moves to ghana and here king is giving tribute that i had not read and he describes in the tribute that debois work he identify it had keystone in the arch of oppression and that history books had to lie or admit the negroes capacity to govern. here he is inspired by the debise which would have been part of educational learning, even though he was 10 year's old when it was published. it talks about the consequences,
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to lose one's history is to lose one's self-understanding and with it the root of pride. it's not enough to be angry, he said, people must organize and unit, when people history had been distorted, american history had been distorted because negroes he continued a too big a part of this nation to be written without it. this is not only a fascinating tribute but challenge to the listeners of this tribute because we know right now that history is under attack all over the country, including, and i'm going to cite this as an example, in colorado back in september, white, black, latino students, asian students took to jefferson colorado school board because the school board decided that they no longer wanted to
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allow students to be exposed to history that i'm going to quote here t history must promote citizenship, patriotism and the essential benefits of the free market system, show respect for authority and respect for individual rights. think about the kind of history you say has been classified, think about the fact that texas literally whitewashed its textbooks. think about an arizona, mexican decentent children can't learn mexican american history that used to be part of méxico because it's considered antiamerican. so i'm fascinated by dr. king -- he wasn't making history. >> guest: no. he was studying. >> host: teaching it. >> guest: but you know i'm glad you mention it because for me it's one of the great moments in the history of american culture. when you have the greatest
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organic intellectual in the history of america, that's martin king, reflecting on the greatest public intellectual, right here in new york and it's not that widely known m. now we have to keep in mind that many of martin's friend told him not to go, why because they were communist. the last thing you want because people are saying, you're a communist is to go and reflect on this black communist, what does martin do, kiss my so and so. i'm a free black man. i say what i want, i do what i want. i will give tribute and i am who i am in part because debise loved me. he loved the truth and justice. i love truth and justice. he was not a christian, he was a post christian. he actually both of them went to church and the church went through them but they almost had
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to leave the church in order to promote the gospel because the churches were just too narrow, they were too cowardly and accommodating. and then he says, we know history is something which is always the kind of history of the present. the past and the present always intertwine in the third dimension of the future is always the object of our vision immediated through our understanding of the past and our actions in the present. that's a great speech that martin gave. thank god he had the courage to give it over again. >> host: he closes his speech with a refrain about being dissatisfied. the ark of the speech itself is to get to deboise, dissatisfaction. >> guest: that's true. >> host: refrain, let us not be satisfied, let us -- let us be
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dissatisfied with -- until every man can have food and freedom and human dignity for his spirit >> guest: as that you can see that in and of itself is a message in the age of obama, you have intellectuals who have become obama apologiesists who are no longer to acknowledge wall street crimes that obama hides and conceal. dropping bombs on innocent folks. where's the dissatisfaction martin is talking about? >> host: i'm going to find a detail. the attorney general's office prosecuted a man of asian
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decent. >> guest: was he directly tied to the operation. he was a middle-level person. >> host: tongue and cheek. >> guest: i hear you. it's so so that we could have a criminal justice system, i mean look at it on the chocolate side of town. every 28 hours a black, brown or brother or sister shot by policeman or security car or vigilante who is to keep the order, every 28 orders, black president, flag attorney general, black homeland security. no one federal prosecution of the policeman. something just ain't right, brother. with all the marchs, hands up, not one critic of the federal government that has the capacity to engage a massive investigation. i'm glad that they think about
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dismantling the police department in ferguson. but the police department is still going free. they are shooting black folks like i don't know what. they are still going free. something is wrong. we have black president, black attorney general, what are we saying to young people. we still have a system that's failure in terms of delivering justice to our presh use and priceless young folks. that doesn't mean our young folks don't need correction but they need love and respect and protection. >> host: you pointed out a wonderful passage that you described that king gives about blue print. >> guest: in philadelphia. that's a beautiful moment. right before he died. >> host: you talk about young people are moving forward to the integration, but at the same time dr. king elsewhere in his speeches is talking about
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integrating into a -- that tension in the blueprints, because the blueprint speech focuses on self-worth, excellence, he talks about being a street sweeper, be the street sweeper that the angels in heaven will rejoice over, if you don't want to be a pine on the mountain be a scrub in the valley. >> guest: quest for excellence. >> host: that's where he was. that's the context. >> guest: right. >> host: i heard the speech often delivered in the context that dr. king in character position. >> guest: yeah. >> host: we are back to the king for hallmark commercial. that king to say -- if you can't be a pine tree on a top of a
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mountain be a scrub on the valley, means you don't have to have high aspirations or high demand, just sweep the streets, we need a lot of street sweepers. in that way, i think, the lesson from that moment to the present in the absent of a sustained focus on the life king actually led in the way the radical king presented is we completely divorced critic of integration as a burning house. these young people t blueprint as we understand it today is a blueprint to -- and except to say that it does not matter. >> guest: wow. >> host: yeah, that's a wow. >> guest: that is something. >> host: harvard mba's, message to young people, other lessons
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like be hard-working and ambitious and if you think about that and the blueprint that the king gave at a context, that's the perfect. i would argue are right underneath, infrastructure that hold the last 50 years of criminalization. not about racism about america anymore, not about a systemic critic and if you live in ferguson, you are suspect and will be criminal because no person of good character, no person walking in king shows would live in ferguson in the first place. when dan wilson says it's a high-crime area that doesn't like the police, then he's saying that dye we have in addition these are not people whose rights.
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>> humanity we are bound to respect. >> guest: another way in which supremecy ends up ensuring that their humanity, let alone imagination, preciousness is not acknowledged, that level of disrespect, of course, that's part of the history. just disrespecting white, brown and yellow people. in martin's case, the excellence, i think he also recognizes that he knows some streets sweepers who have depths of integrity and decency that do well folks. >> host: spiritual blackout.
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>> guest: moral constipation. nothing flowing because the greed is getting in the way. he gave every penny, nobel prize. martin was like that. he was full of that kind of commitment and that's rare but at least we can aspire. we live in the age of the sellout where to be successful at any cost by any means is just obsessed and shall be caught. when you think about black leaders these days, when you say the word integrity, who comes to mind? it's just not a long list. we are are not going into a name, we can just list the folks that don't fall into it. it's like good god.
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you say to yourself, what is happening. we just talk about perfection. when i see you i see a brother who has love and respect of people of all colors but specially black people and you earn it. it's not inheritance, how do you earn it, day in, day out. we are not talking about the perfection. here is a brother who like james baldwin said i want to be an honest man. i want to be a decent man. i want to be a person of integrity. your wife, grandkids, that's also what martin has in mind. if we can't keep integrity and honesty, can't get all by any
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means concealing then we end up the best of that kind of that culture produces and this is an age of obama is sentimental folks. give good speeches but no fundamental commitment to auction. you get crocodile tears, everybody nostalgic about the past, what you're doing now about what the white poor too. vis-a-vis wall street, vis-a-vis military complex. the catastrophe that we are talking about. nuclear catastrophe, militarism, be in roam, palestinian trouble. 42% of the wealth. in the last six years the tops%, income growth.
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critical of black folks. first african off the boat, dignified. too much death too early, too much poverty and self-loved. we had black folks that loved themselves. too many early deaths. some deaths are inescapable. diseases. that is a level of excellence. all of those folks. excellent, man. >> host: reminding me and the viewers on exactly what he meant by excellence in that speech.
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so just -- just to kind of way to think about the times we lived in and you referred to them as obama and i think where they come together and dr. king current director of the fbi. >> guest: that's a complement, brother. [laughter] >> guest: we have big files. we just keep witness. >> host: he gave a speech on february 12th before the law enforcement community of the fbi, what surprised the press and others that analyze the speech was that he mentioned dr. dr. king and the file opened up
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on him with bobby kennedy's approval after the march on washington speech. keep the approval on his desk as a reminder of the history of the fbi, a way of remembering mistakes that the fbi has made in the past and to hold up dr. king as an example of a real american history, a hero by his own government, now what's fascinating about that is generally speaking, that is the way in which we end the story right, triumph over the smallness of people of mind and heart in the moment and yet, the director goes onto talk about implicit bias among law enforcement, but talks about the
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irish bearers who benefited from the whitens despite racism in their times and he talks about the need for engaging the african-american community on the historical understanding of police brutality as well as white officers to come to terms with its own biases. that's all there, but here is the part that perfectly mixes the dr. king that we want to remember with the dr. king that actually lived. here in this part of the speech talking about the age of ferguson and obama, the answer is a hard truth. these are the hard truth that he mentioned. the truth is the fourth truth t truth is what really needs fixing, what really needs fixing is an important qualification that does not attach to the other truth is something only a few like president obama are
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willing to speak about. perhaps because it is so daunting a task due to my brothers initiative the president is addressing disproportionate challenges faced by men of color. datia show that is the percentage shows not working twice as high for blacks as it is for whites. this initiative is about doing the hard work and i emphasize to grow, drug-le cystent and violent-resistent kids specially in communities of color so they never become part of that officer's life experience. drug resistent and violent-resistent kids. that's the real problem that the president is addressing. in all of this, the superstructure of ideas about the history of policing in this moment, essentially only the president is showing leadership on talking about the real issue of black inferiority.
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he certainly pushes the envelope of bias and racism in law enforcement. still retreats to this fundamental that black people are broken and if black people weren't broken, we wouldn't have this problem. >> guest: the damage is always on black people and not on a vicious system of injustice with schools that too often generate so murder among poor children, levels of unemployment and underemployment, indecent housing, still not available. healthcare, given all that social neglect on these damaged
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people. any empire from the beginning of time has told those kinds of lies about precious poor working people and martin is part of this, not just black history, not just american history, not just modern history, human history going all the way back from the very beginning having the courage to say people in power no matter what color you are, get your boot off the neck of poor people. we have too many people, they don't want to say a word but the boot is still on. you see what i mean? when martin was around, what was his relation to black politicians. we know he was responsible for the first black mayor. [laughter] >> i'm going it out of the folks for the masses. he understood that but what did
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he go onto say, don't become part of the conspiracy of black people. we have to keep politicians of all colors accountable. >> host: one does wonder as we move to the beginning stages of the 2016 presidential where -- >> guest: it might be clinton versus bush. >> host: it will be be interesting particularly if hillary clinton should win to see the mental and verbal gymnastics that black people will come up with in order to not criticize the now-sitting-first woman if it happens to be clinton around the issue that will no doubt will be front in center of the country. it'll be fascinating. >> guest: we've lost so much of our moral authority because we will not tell the truth.
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when black folks are in office we protect them in any mean, vis-a-vis fox news or whatever, but you're losing the moral authority, but what happens is you end up in your politicians becoming more and more centrist. that's the liberal response to problems, you see. that's true for clinton or barack obama or democratic party for the most part. the republican part is good to conservatives. that's just a whole different thing. if you don't bring critic to bear on your black politicians, then somebody is going to listen to you and i think the sad thing is that black americans are going to go into such a deep depression when the obamas leave the white house because it would mean then as he leave the black
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suffering and misery is still in place and escalating. he has a profit program, not one penny for the program. well, the black sisters catching too. but the black folks are going to look around and say, but what happened, how come y'all didn't tell us the truth. we needed tv shows, all we want is positions, all we want lectures, so and so. how come you didn't tell the truth? there's some truth on msnbc. there's some -- strong on wednesdays and fridays and tuesday. there are folks who are just caught because they know deep down a tradition that produced them, you can't true to martin and malcolm and the others without not just taking a risk
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but sacrificing your popularity for telling the truth. this is not about popularity. it's about integrity. that's what we love about martin, again, he's not the only one. this book is about a people, it's about a tradition and it is the greatest tradition in the modern world when it comes to people who had had levels of hatred of 400 years and not just black al-qaeda, isis, they dished out martin king. curtis mayfield. stevey wonder. that's why i'm blessed to be a small part of that tradition. brother, when the worms get me, i'm going to have a smile on my face. i'm going down with jesus, and martin. [laughter]
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>> host: you mentioned, and we are going to be closing shortly, that the last sermon that dr. king was supposed to deliver is why america should go to hell. we know brother jeremiah -- [laughter] >> host: let's not forget in the course of this conversation that we started with a man who was not only the subject of a national holiday, the man who for the right in this country represents the highest achievement of individualism that everyone should inspire to because he was an individual who wanted us to get to the place where we could be seen as individuals and yet here on hours before he breathes his last great he was issuing an indictment on the nation, do you
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know what that sermon actually was going to be? do we have evidence of it? anything? >> guest: great scholars, taylor and lewis baldwin and others, they might have an idea. i don't know. he didn't say america ought to go to hell. he didn't say america should go to hell. he said, america may go to hell, why? because militarism, racism, poverty, materialism, those four diseases, they're diseases that are historical practices at the same time. they are sucking the democratic energies out of america. america is on its way to fashionism, big government, big banks, big corporations, no
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accountability, all the wealth at the top and those at the bottom fighting over the crumbs. martin saw that and was very honest in saying, america may, in fact, go to hell and in many ways it vindicates, i think history will vindicate our brothers. i don't agree with everything he said but he's a truth teller and he speaks his heart, his soul and mind, at the end it's about the negro national anthem. we lift every voice. we have too many echos out there. he was wrong in atlantic city. he compromised. martin you're wrong. malcolm x called him a chump. you don't use children in birmingham like that. we understand white collar.
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that's a debate. do you use children against gangsters and terrorists like the police department of birmingham? that's a dialogue. what was wonderful about it when martin died, what did he say, the most gentle of men. malcolm could see malcolm gentleman. i will go with you to the united nations and put the united states on trial for the violation of human rights of black people. they almost came together. martin knew, martin called me a chump. i didn't like it. i understand what -- where the brother was coming up. he was loving the children and the children were being abused, you know. >> host: here we are, 50th anniversary.
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any lessons from his life in terms of the choices that he made, the spirit with which he believed in this nation and its capacity for the young people who really do have to carry these traditions forward? any final thoughts for them? ..

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